It’s almost spring, what a great time to do a refresh and upgrade in your home. And it can be easy and simple without breaking the bank...unless you’d like to of course. Each room in your home deserves a look see...and well you do too….to feel uplifted and happy in your home. After the festivities of Christmas, the doldrums of winter set in, and no matter if you like winter or not, this season has our homes feeling drab and stagnant.
Generally speaking, we should feel happy in our homes….not that you have to be happy all the time, but it should be a pleasant place for you to come home to and feel good...it is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. And...having your rooms set up, could immediately help you unwind after a long day. Why not treat your home and yourself to a rejuvenation of sorts. In no time at all, and hardly any cost, you can find happiness in every room.
First of all, and overall, there are a few things that are more a blanket of happiness than specifics to each room. Why not look at your surroundings and let’s take a little tour of your rooms and see what you can do to make them more, well, happy. Here are some thoughts.
I’m not a fan of clutter. I love to reorganize, put things in bins, make the organization look “pretty” or nice, and overall, have the look of put-togetherness. The psychology of clutter, according to Psychology Today states; clutter causes stress in part because of its excessive visual stimuli. It also signals our brains that our work is never done and creates guilt, anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed. I know I feel that way when things get a little out of hand. I think even subconsciously, we may think it’s okay for all of that paper to be piled up or clothes or anything else that is just in the way…physically or mentally. Also, I believe we Americans have too much on stuff, little things that just have that quick fix of happiness...something catches our eye and we buy it without thinking too much. My motto is “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”; a quote by William Morris. When you look at other cultures too, like Denmark; their way of arranging things is so serene, cozy, beautiful but yet practical…..their mantra? Hygge….a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.
Display Items That Are Dear To You - Memories
I do not know a person who does not keep some memento of something meaningful that has happened in their life. It may be anything at all. It could be a piece of art you picked up while traveling. It could be the first wrench you used while attending mechanic school. It could be a comfortable piece of furniture or clothing.
Consider what you’ve saved over the years and why. We all have different reasons for saving things that are dear to us.
Now do you have a lot of mementos? Do you like to save collectibles or antiques? How do you display those? Displaying them in an artful manner can make them even more meaningful and everytime you look at them it will make you smile. Do you have to display every last one of your mementos? No. The “Wyse Guide” Kaleb Wyse, has several tips as to what he does with his collecting habit. For instance, he loves mushroom ornaments and has every kind you could imagine. He also collects bottle brush trees and displays them at Christmastime. He displays groups of collectables and then puts them away for awhile and picks something else to display. You can see his displaying and organizing ideas HERE. You can also follow him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WyseGuide/or on Instagram @wyseguide.
I believe that we collect things that are dear to us because of the experience it brought us. No matter if you are an insufferable sap or a little bit sentimental, we need to keep these things near.
Put forth YOUR Personality - Including Colors
Oh boy, what is my personality? Do you know what yours is? I believe mine is Modern Farmhouse with splashes of color and lots of cozy thrown in...maybe my style is eclectic. Farmhouse is black and white, gray and other neutrals. But I love color….I like the simplicity of Farmhouse but need some color. Color makes me happy.
Whatever your personality, make sure it makes you happy. You can bring your favorite color to rooms in bits and pieces or you can go all out and bring in the big bold hues.
What kind of decor are you most likely to have in your space? Like I said, Modern Farmhouse is mine...clean lines and simplicity. Maybe you like a more traditional style. Maybe you like totally Modern or Mid-Century Modern….this seems to be a popular trend these days. But what of the trends? Should you follow them if they are not your personality? I think not….that is why my style is a bit more eclectic...putting some styles together. I put in what I like.
Create A Place Of Calm
How many of you have been going a hundred miles per hour, all week long and just want some place to go and…..have some peace and quiet, practice yoga, or perhaps create something. If you have a family, this seems like the norm...busy, busy, busy. For a single person, I have this all of the time, in my whole space, especially this past year. But….I do have a room I go to when I’d like to read, write (journal), meditate or practice yoga.
Also during COVID, you probably were cooped up with loved ones a lot more than normal...and just needed a place to be apart...or maybe you were forced to be apart due to a quarantine. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the space be cozy, comforting, warm and inviting?
I feel COVID was a great opportunity to make a space like this. Our lives are so filled up with always something to do.
Bring Nature In
I love to go out in nature and hike, ski, snowshoe, run etc. It calms my soul….so I thought, why not bring as much nature inside as possible. I have a lot of nature landscape paintings created by Kelly Meredith from the Fanatical Fish, my own etchings, photos and collage. I also have as many plants as I can without my space looking cluttered. Some people can make a whole wall of plants look really put together. Plants, fresh flowers, or forced bulbs make me happy. I love to nurture my plants. It calms me. Plants are also good to have for the air in your home. Also, it would be fun to have pictures of you on adventures to remind you of your time outside.
Do you like to entertain? Well you probably do now...after being cooped up for the past year. I love to entertain but haven’t done it in a long time. I love preparing food, drink and I like to have just the right atmosphere and decor to make it festive and cozy. Having people over to enjoy themselves makes me happy. So what do we do to make a room happy for guests?
Make sure there are enough chairs/seating areas. If you are having a book club, you’ll want to have them close enough so people can make eye contact….and also have interesting things to look at in the room if the person doesn’t want to make eye contact. You want your guests to feel comfortable.
If you are serving food, what kind of party is it? Is it casual, formal? If you have finger food, make sure there are areas to place their plate or drink.
This depends on what you are doing..but I like to have low lighting, warm lighting, cozy lighting...just enough to read by. The lighting in my home makes me so happy. I purchased some lights when I was in Thailand. Three different strands, one white...I keep this in the bathroom (it evokes clean). The other two are colorful. I also have lights in my plants. I have them around the room also. I have two on a timer so when I come home they greet me. This uplifts me after a long day. I also love subtle smelling candles which give me that warm cozy feeling.
It does not make me happy to have to clean but it makes me very happy when my home is clean. I feel a certain pride, accomplishment and calm when my house is tidy and scrubbed.
It is a whole lot easier to clean if you keep up with it...I’ve found that throughout the years. It smells good, is shiny, and makes me smile.
Like I mentioned before, I love me some great bins and storage containers. The more creative the better..and this doesn’t have to break the bank either. Mason jars? Shoe boxes? You can even cover the boxes if you want them to look neater…..even though they may be in a closet. Labels or clear bins help with finding things….and putting things back in the place you got them from after you use them helps keep that happiness mood intact.
Scent, A Powerful Feature
It is a known fact that smell is a powerful, psychological factor in our daily lives. It draws out memories, mood and can make us happy. A candle, baking cookies or a pie? The smell of clean, an essential oil wafting from a diffuser? Certain smells just lift us. On a non work day, I love to start my diffusers in the morning. In the evening, I light my candles. Makes my whole day and my evening.
A clear counter and a fresh vase of flowers!! Or a bright bowl of fruit. These things make me happy when I walk into my kitchen. Again, I like clean lines, neutral colors for the canvas, but need to have those pops of color and flowers would definitely do that. I always have a bowl of fruit, mostly lemons, limes, a couple tomatoes and sometimes bananas.
Especially around this time of year, I love to have cut tulips or daffodils, or I like to have some forced bulbs around. A nice plant would make me happy too, or a fresh baked pie..preferably peach or cherry.
The Living Room
When I walk into the living room, happiness is afternoon light shining in...it might be shining on a cozy throw, a book I know I’m going to read later that evening...and a candle I will burn to make my time in this room a serene experience. Other items that make me happy in my living room are plants, especially plants, cozy blankets, artwork and twinkling lights, strung in the most perfect spot.
Cozy towels, a plush bathrobe, cotton balls, and swabs in clear jars, and a few seashells or sea glass I’ve collected on my trips to the water. A scented candle and a nice piece of art. Something to remind me of a spa. The bathroom is also a perfect place to write an affirmation or mantra on the mirror to uplift you when you get up in the morning. Leave it the night before...which makes you feel good too...and then wake up to the positivity!!! Genius!! If you have a significant other, leave one for him or her.
The Bedroom (Retreat)
In my bedroom I don’t want any distractions. I want it to be inviting, soft, cozy and serene. This is where I need to go to sleep or spend an afternoon reading. Not somewhere to watch TV, look at my computer or other device. I want my bedroom to be a retreat. Beautiful, simple, cozy bedding (that doesn’t have to be expensive, by the way). Beautiful artwork with an ethereal feeling, soft lighting, candles and simple furniture.
Being happy these days is a luxury. Hurry, hurry, hurry seems all we do. Why not take a little time to make our homes a happy place, an inviting oasis of coziness, family, and relaxation. Take a little time for yourself, first to make a few changes, and then to enjoy them.
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